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Hundreds take the plunge into a frigid Lake Champlain

Published: Mar. 12, 2022 at 8:49 PM EST
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - The snow storm couldn’t stop more than 800 Vermonters from taking a dip in a nearly 32-degree Lake Champlain Saturday.

At the Burlington waterfront, Special Olympics Vermont hosted its 27th annual Penguin Plunge.

The organization was already nearing its $460,000 fundraising goal by the beginning of the day. That’s about 40% of the annual operating budget.

Some jumpers are new to the event, and others join the frigid fun year after year.

“We have to make our fun where we can, and joy is part of the Special Olympics mission, so you know we’re into it, we embrace it and celebrate it,” said Missy Siner Shea of Special Olympics Vermont.

Thousands of Vermonters took to the waterfront to jump or watch. In 2020, plunge events raised more than $614,000 for Special Olympics. Next year, they hope to make an even bigger splash.

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